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a word for the year… in February.

Oh HIiiiii blog…. it’s been a month since I was last here… or more.

Ha. Well, let’s just say January is always rough on me. I had a hard time getting my act together to write anything. I have had this post in my mind since, oh, January 4th or 5th? Anyway, I just wanted to share, more for personal accountability then anything else, my word for the year. I’ve posted about this a few times in the past… like here, and here.

Last year my word was HOPE. Mainly because I dealt with a lot of panic and post partum at the beginning of the year last year. But it was the perfect word to carry me through another hard year.

This year, it seems cliche to say, my word is GRACE.

There was a point in the last year, I’m not exactly sure when, sometime in the fall when I remember crying before bed and talking to Husbuddy about all the things that were stressing me out. And I remember him saying to me, it has stuck with me clear as day, “Kim, it’s like you think that no one else has to be perfect, that they are all covered in the grace of Christ, but YOU expect yourself to be perfect. You put such impossible expectations on yourself and you hold yourself to such a high standard that there is no way you can meet that! You need Jesus’s Grace to meet you in all of this!”

wisdom right there, am I right?

So, the word :: Grace.

I need the grace of Jesus to permeate EVERY.SINGLE.INCH of my heart, my soul, my brain.

like I said, cliche. But I can’t get over it because this verse keeps popping in my head:

“For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” John 1:16

I mean, wow. Grace UPON Grace.

Like a cup overflowing with grace. That is what I’m picturing in my head. It’s hard to imagine when I’m such a cup half empty kind of person sometimes!

Grace for TODAY.

Grace for my heart.

I was hoping to make a pretty picture like I have before to hang and remind myself of my word… but hey. That didn’t happen the entire month so I’m just going for this blog post. I mean, that’s kinda my word right?

Grace for myself when I can’t get everything done.

Grace TO myself. Speak grace TO myself! Not condemnation!

Grace for those around me when they don’t fulfill my expectations…

Grace for my husband, for my girls.

Grace for my parenting. I’m not perfect, how can I be? I’m still new to this and I’m learning!

Grace to be a more Grace-FULL person.

Grace to be able to serve others better.

Grace to fail. -this one feels huge to me. Sometimes I’m so scared of failing I don’t start. Or I fail and I beat myself up so hard.

I know all about Grace in my head. Or so sometimes I tell myself I think I do. But this year I want to focus on grace so it penetrates into my heart.

“There is a remnant, chosen by grace. but if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace would no longer be grace.” Romans 11:6

“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work” 2 Corinthians 9:8

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

These are just some of my thoughts today. Hopefully I will continue to grow and think about Grace this year. That is the goal anyway. Ha!

I guess my word kind of works for the fact that I didn’t get this post out until February, right?

at least I’ll keep telling myself that!

So, what about you? Do you have a word for the year? Anyone else just putting their thoughts together now that it is February? #tellmei’mnottheonlyone! #canwejuststartthenewyearinFeb?

xoxo-kimberly renee




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on grace

ok. so… my goal was to write this blog post by the end of january. i’m cutting it a little close.  i keep wanting to write one about my “word of the year.” last year my word was peace. the year before that, joy. {click on the links to see the original posts}

this year, my word is going to be grace.

i’ve thought about it all month and i can’t seem to drop it and come up with an easier word. i keep praying about it and putting it off. really, grace? do i really need to focus on that for a whole year? i keep coming back to it, so i feel like God has something to show me. already, in the last few weeks it’s popped up in a million little ways.

like that one time i couldn’t do something the way i wanted to. i messed it up so bad. i was really getting down on myself for how i was stupid and clumsy and just not good enough. and someone said it, “give yourself grace, Kim.

or that one time a friend let me down. i was quick to say, “no worries, it’s alright” but in my heart, i was super hurt, did i really give grace? or the family member who just isn’t getting how much he may be hurting the rest of us by his actions, do i give grace or do i give judgement?

or that quote i read the other day,

You say grace before meals. all right. but i say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before i open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing, and grace before i dip the pen in the ink.” -GK Chesterton A Grace, collected poetry

um, wow, i was hit by it. do i really focus on grace in all that i do? should i?

or the one email i got from someone. i got it and then i cried. no i bawled like a baby. because i was SO disappointed. someone had said she was going to be able to do something for me. she had committed to it. i was BEYOND excited about it. but then she wrote to say that on second thought she couldn’t do it… the first time i read the email- i felt about the size of a penny. so small… all i could think was, why would she says yes and then no? what is wrong with me? would Jesus turn down my request? because i wasn’t good enough? because what i had asked for was beneath her in some way?  was my question, REALLY such a burden on this woman?  i was so hurt.and i am embarrassed to say, i cried for like half an hour and husbuddy even had to tell me i was being ridiculous.  then after i had a nap i reread it a couple times. at the end she said, “thank you for your grace and understanding.” wow, i wasn’t very gracious was i?

apparently i need to remember WHO  is gracious to me.

every. single. day.

  • i need to focus this year on what grace really means.
  • i need to have it reinforced in my brain what God’s grace is to me.
  • what grace i can give to other people in all circumstances.
  • what grace i can give to myself. my family. my friends. strangers.
  • i want to be a gracious woman. i’ve always thought that, but what does that mean?

so, here is a definition of grace.


  1. unmerited divine favor/assistance given humans for their sanctification.
    • God makes available His favor on behalf of sinners, who do not deserve it. it is a free gift. {read that? it’s a given, free gift!}
  2.  simple elegance or refinement of movement
    • {i think it’s funny that my etsy shop is named “miss grace designs” because my mother always called me “miss grace” because i’m such a klutz. so i’m not sure if this is really some other part of thinking through my word of the year…i don’t know, maybe my klutziness should be remembered daily too and i should seek to be more “refined in movement” and ask God for grace about that… i’m just putting that out there. hee hee.} 

of course, Grace is all over the bible. so i’ll be doing a little more research about that. but for today, this verse stuck out to me. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 (ESV)

” Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace,  comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.”

and some inspiration from good ol’ John Piper:

“Grace is the pleasure of God to magnify worth of God by giving sinners the right and power to delight in God without obscuring the glory of God.”

um wow, right? i mean, it’s going to take a month at least just to process that one. and another:

“why are you downcast o my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God. For He is a God of matchless grace. He sanctifies by grace. He sustains faith by grace. And he will glorify you by grace. You cannot earn it or deserve it or merit it. It is free. Believe it. Rest in it. delight in it. And it is yours.” –Why hope? Grace! April 13, 1989

narnia lamp

so friends, i picked my word. have you picked yours? don’t worry. you still have time. a whole 11 months in fact. i mean, look at me. my “new years day post” turned into the 28th day of the new year post… hee hee.

xoxo-kimberly renee

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word of the year

ok, so it’s already half way through February and i’m just now writing this. but really, it’s been on my mind since December. before i went into labor, it was New Years. on New Years, husbuddy and i thought up a few new year resolutions together. i also thought and prayed about a “word” for my new year. {here’s a good blog post about choosing 1 word for a whole year} SO…i’ve been trying to write this post since January 1st. {i guess i got kind of distracted along the way} 

in 2013, my  word of the year was Joy. you can read more about that here or this post 

as i’ve been learning how to be a momma to sweet Sophia, i’ve been praying for what God would have for me this year, her first year of life, my first year learning how to do this thing… the word that God keeps revealing to me is PEACE.

peace frame

i have such a desire for peace in my heart. it’s a prayer over and over that i’ve either said or that i’ve heard prayed for me this past month. it’s a word that God seems to want me to know, and know deeply.

  • i desire peace when worry keeps me awake at night.
  • i desire peace when i’m overwhelmed with being a new mother, with not knowing what i am doing.
  • i desire peace when she’s screaming in the middle of night and all i can do is cry
  • i desire peace amid all the “helpful” comments that come from every direction.
  • i desire peace when my to-do list seems to never get checked off.
  • i desire peace inside a house that’s constantly challenging us, is never clean, and is in constant need of repair.

peace is what i need to focus on this year. the peace that only God can provide.

the other day when i was thinking about this,  i was reading one of my favorite sections of scripture, Philippians 4. we all know these verses of course, but i was re-reading verses 6-7 and it struck me that this is the peace that i desire to envelope my life:

“do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

the peace that surpasses all understanding. i crave that more than water right now! and whats interesting is that these verses come after the command to rejoice. to find Joy in our Lord. verse 4 says:

“rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.” 

so, what’s interesting to me is that God wanted me to focus on Joy last year, and it is only natural, even to Paul, to focus on Peace next. peace comes when i first find all of my joy in Him. when i’m not focused on my own worries and anxieties, but when i notice HIM in the little things, and give thanks for everything. peace comes after the thanksgiving and after the joy. peace that GUARDS YOUR HEART. that’s what i crave. HIS perfect peace that will guard my heart from the world of worries and from my selfish anxieties.

then Paul continues in verses 8-9:

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise; think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me- practice these things and the God of peace will be with you.” 

our Father is a GOD OF PEACE. He desires to be with us. He desires to guard our hearts with HIS peace.

in my quest for His Perfect Peace this year, i am really just seeking HIM.

i’m sure i’ll be learning a lot more about this in the weeks and months to come…thanks for listening to my ramblings, friends. 

xoxo-kimberly renee

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quote for today {joy}

IMG_2316_at beach2



joy is the realest reality,

the fullest life,

and joy is always given,

never grasped.

God gives gifts and i give thanks and i unwrap the gift given: joy.


Ann Voskamp One Thousand Gifts

IMG_2325_beach date


{again, still soaking up Ann Voskamp! May you unwrap the gift of joy today, unwrap it with thanksgiving, my friends! the photos are from a recent trip to a “beach” on the Chesapeake Bay.} 


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my word for the year is:

after spending the weekend thinking about it and worried that the word sounds too flippant and trite… I prayed about it some more and it still stuck. i think it sounds too trite because iI don’t think we, as Americans, really understand what Joy means. i’m afraid that when I say my word is JOY you all will think it’s my goal to be some fake-happy-all-the-time kind of Christian. that is NOT what JOY means to me.

joy does NOT equal happiness.

how do i know this? because God calls us to be Joyful ALWAYS.  He says so multiple times in His word. {James 1:2, Phil. 4:4 for starters} He means all.the.time. even when life is good…and even when we’re walking through the impossible. Rejoice. even when we’re facing the worst things imaginable, we’re still called to be joyful. And that’s hard.  even impossible at times.

but He doesn’t say, “be happy”.  even Jesus got angry and even Jesus cried. these things aren’t wrong. But that is why Joy doesn’t equal happiness.

see, i am a pessimist.  i hate it about myself but i know it’s true. i always have wanted to be an optimist, but i just can’t make myself be one. i don’t see life that way. so for me, it’s really easy to live with a negative attitude all the time. It’s really easy to come home from work, and say the day was “just fine”. it’s really easy to think about all the things that should have been better.  i’m REALLY good at pretending to be joyful all the time and even desiring it, but i don’t usually have a very joyful attitude if I’m honest with myself.  but I know, and hope, that God has some things to teach me about living in Joy this year.

living in joy to me is about living in thanksgiving, living in hope, and living in peace. i know, it looks like i’m cheating by incorporating more words. HA. But i’m not, i promise!

the dictionary defines Joy this way:

a : the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires :delight

 b : the expression or exhibition of such emotion : gaiety

I am going to say that the first definition:  the emotion evoked by the prospect of possessing what one desires -is the closest that it comes to what I’m trying to say:

I possess the love of God. I possess the hope that HE has a plan and purpose for me! I possess the overwhelming feeling of thankfulness at what HE has done for me on the cross! And I posses true peace because I know that HE has me in the palm of His hand. These possessions will never be lost. They are my treasure that i delight in . And because they are my treasure, through everything , I can have joy.

this year, as i explained last week, is making me nervous. it is going to be another year full of new changes, new places and uncertainty as we wait for it all to come to fruition. but through it all, i pray that JOY will fill my heart and soul because i already possess everything i need. i want to be a girl who looks with Joy at the moment instead of the pessimist who can so often be filled with bitterness.

God has a lot of work to do in this heart of mine this year. may i learn how to truly live in HIS JOY.

thanks for being here, friends! have you decided on YOUR  “word of the year” for 2013?! i’d love to hear!

xo-kimberly renee


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